The True Meaning of Leadership

“Leadership must be based on goodwill. Goodwill does not mean posturing and, least of all, pandering to the mob. It means obvious and wholehearted commitment to helping followers. We are tired of leaders we fear, tired of leaders we love, and of tired of leaders who let us take liberties with them. What we need for leaders are men of the heart who are so helpful that they, in effect, do away with the need of their jobs. But leaders like that are never out of a job, never out of followers. Strange as it sounds, great leaders gain authority by giving it away.”
– Admiral James B. Stockdale

Wow, there is so much meat to this quote that I’m almost intimidated to dig into it! I was blown away when I read it because it’s so powerful and direct, yet it’s spot on in regards to the true meaning of leadership. Let’s pull it apart and analyze as to whether we’re truly living this one out. (more…)